Predictions Week 1: Kickoff

Because the real Looking Forward will not be able to make predictions
this year I have decided to take it upon myself to substitute him for
the season. Though I could not possibly replace Looking Forward it is
my hope that these threads will simply be enjoyed as I have enjoyed
Looking Forward’s posts.

The much anticipated PREDICTIONS:
Week 1 we have 11 events going:
San Diego
New Jersey
Traverse City

Scores will be low in the first week of competition, and with no human
player roles in scoring aside from causing penalties, expect a lot of
scoreless games. There will be strong defensive play similar to the
type played in 2007 and matches won’t be too heated until the
eliminations start up. Hanging will be crucial in deciding elimination
matches. It is unlikely that in the first week any alliance will enter
the double digit point total.

San Diego has brought back some of the big guns this year and though
it is not a stacked regional expect this regional to have some of the
most entertaining elimination matches. With strong teams running out
early, defense and strategy will be huge and a number 4 alliance with
a strong defender could take home the gold.

1717, as usual, has not shown their robot before competition
but I get the feeling that as usual they will have a high scoring
machine that will be able to wreak havoc on the field. Anything short
of the finals for the D’Penguineers would be unexpected.

1622 is coming off of their best season to date and after
joining RAWC on the number 1 alliance in a much more shallow pool last
year Team Spyder looks to prove that they are here to stay. Spyder
should be around late on Saturday.

100 has a strong variable strength kicker that could prove to
be extremely useful in this week 1 regional where getting a good
position will be tough. The WildHats are always strong and they look
to hit their stride in week one. Not being able to hang may hurt them
with scores staying low but their ability to score from everywhere
will prove valuable in the elimination rounds.

359 has a tough red machine that will be able to control the
balls on the field at high speeds with its great ball magnet. With a
78 like hanging mechanism the Hawaiian Kids will be a force to
reckon with and I expect nothing short of the finals for them and I
would not be surprised to see them leave with a banner.

Also going are teams 115, 846, 294 who are drawn
to the finals here, and 1538.

D.C. has lost some of the big teams it had last year; 118,
234, 1279, and 365. The field will be shallow and
the few teams that can score consistently will need to drive well
because they will face hefty defense.

1024 looks to return to their 2008 form. After a 2009 robot
riddled with problems, 1024 will work on redeeming themselves early
this year, especially since they need to win either here or at
Boilermaker to qualify for Atlanta.

1111 is a ramp bot and it will be interesting to see how they
fair and where they are picked in the eliminations. Their ability to
elevate two partners could make them an offensive machine in a shallow

48 always has a powerful offensive bot and in an old school
game like this I expect them to have one of the best robots on this

45 is returning and they are going to be looking for a second
D.C. title in as many years. With not much competition out there, it
would be hard to picture 45 not taking home a banner.

Another shallow regional in terms of elite teams Peachtree will have a
good number of solid defensive bots and a few that can elevate.
Peachtree had one of the biggest elimination upsets last year when
1771 went down in the quarter finals and I expect to see a few
wins for the blue alliances again on Saturday.

1379has a great looking machine with a roll cage. If 1379’s
roller works they should be among the top teams here because ball
control will be key in this type of regional.

34 has a mecanum driving, ally elevating machine and they
should be one of the best scorers here.

832 was on the winning alliance last year which also happened
to take down 1771 on their way and they are always a team to look at.
In this shallow field, Oscar will have what it takes to play on
Saturday but this year its more likely for them to go out early than
for them to pull off the upset.

1771 has a vacuum again and we all remember the last bot they
made with a vacuum; they know how to make them work well. With a
powerful kicker and a solid drive train I can’t see them walking away
empty handed again.

With only 38 teams attending and no elite teams coming in to help out,
the Bayou regional looks to be the most shallow regional of the year.
Scoreless games will be very common a team that can hang just might be
the highest scoring bot on the field

2815 was one of the strongest rookies in the nation last year
and they look to continue their success. I see them going to at least
the semi finals this year, if not all the way.

2587 will be able to control the balls at a good enough rate to
be one of the best teams here but their 6 wheel omni drive will be
their downfall in the eliminations when they are pushed around with

1912 has one of the only bots that will be able to not only
score balls but also control the balls with their roller. Anything
short of them making their way back to the finals would be an upset.

Kansas City:
K.C. is one of the regionals to watch. With all the talent that is
attending this year. The eliminations will have some great scoring
alliances and I expect to see a lot of robots in the air at the end of
the matches.

1625has a swerve driving, fast hanging, vacuuming, and kicking
machine. Winnovation should be among the top 2 teams here. Their
ability to go up for the hang on the side bar so quickly will prove to
be extremely important in close matches and will help them get on top
in such a top heavy regional.

1806 has a very powerful cam actuated kicker and they should be
one of the strongest scorers here but I cannot say that they are gonna
make it past the semi finals despite how badly I want them to. This is
their regional but the talent is too great here for SWAT to take the
gold again.

16 has the three wheeled swerve going for them and with a
strong kicker its hard to see what might stop them. I foresee them
having issues with their hanging mechanism because they didn’t show it
in action in their video. The Baxter Bomb Squad will make their mark
early and will either be on the 1 or 2 alliance. I can see them making
it to the finals but with the strength of this regional I don’t see
them taking it all.

Perhaps the most impressive robot video put out so far was that of
team 1986. They have the ability to score from every zone, grab
and control the ball with ease, and score it from virtually anywhere.
Their trampoline that brings the ball to the front of their bot off of
the ball return will make them the most consistent scorer this year.
Their swerve drive will help them score easier and avoid the defense
but not being able to hang might be what keeps them from the top in
qualification matches. Nonetheless I believe they will be invited to
join the number 1 alliance.

Also going are teams 234 and 135 who both look to be big
players in this top heavy regional.

All the usual suspects are back with a little bit of a confusing
shakeup. BAE will be a great regional with good scoring but come
elimination time strategy and team work are gonna make BAE one of the
most interesting regionals and most reflective on what will happen in
weeks to come. There are so many side bar hangers here that the
alliance that snags a center pole hanging bot might just be the one to
take this regional.

126 has another strong looking robot and they will be
excellently driven as always but how effective their side rollers are
will determine if they can take it all the way. Their hanger looks
strong and it should be effective.

40 had a weak showing at Suffield and if they want to get as
far as they did last year they are going to have to up their game.

175 has a 4 wheeled center bar hanging bot but they will
struggle in the qualifications. Buzz will draw a lot of defense and
those omni wheels are going to hurt buzz’s chances. With all the
potential pushing in eliminations I can’t see buzz coming out on top
for the second straight year.

58 has a solid kicker but wont be able to kick the ball if they
have no way of possessing it. If The Riot Crew wants to go as far as
they did in 08 they are going to need to play stiff defense and hang
at the end of every match.

20 seems to have pulled out the swerve drive for this year but
past that I have no information. The Rocketeers will be able to score
and the swerve will only help them be one of the best at BAE again.

Last years BAE and Newton winning drive team from 121 is
returning to drive the 78 robot. Air Strike will be the class
of BAE because of their uncanny ability to easily control the game
pieces. Their Achilles heel might be their hanging mechanism which
while crazy innovative looks like it might give them some trouble at
competition with slipping.

This regional will have one of the most balanced levels of play
throughout excluding the matches with a certain green team. FLR has a
good crop of solid teams. 378, 578, 1507,
1551 should all be playing on Saturday.

188 had their strongest bot last year and they are trying to
repeat that performance. No word has been given on blizzards bot, but
i think they will be a powerful force on this field.

191 has a solid bot that will be able to control the balls and
score them consistently. Anything short of the semi finals for the
x-cats would be surprising.

1640 has swerve drive and a ball magnet, two things that are
key on any stage. I can see them making a big splash with their little
bot this weekend.

There are 2 world champions from 2006 at FLR this year. The
RoboWizards could end up aligning with the Thunder Chickens again
especially since this is their sort of game. 522 has experience
with hanging and although they are not using their famous tank drive
this year, I think 522 could come back to their 2006 form with this game.

217 has another great bot good to go and make a bid for any
title it wants. The Thunder Chickens will absolutely dominate this
weekend with their great ball magnet, powerful kicking and quick
hanging not to mention the fact that they can drive sideways. If 217
doesn’t pull out gold this weekend I will be shocked.

Oregon like FLR has a solid enough lower set of teams to make the
regional balanced. The average score will be around 2 for an alliance
and their will be some fun to watch matches.

1983 is coming off of a win here last year and they are looking
for a repeat and they have a bot that might be able to pull it off.
Skunkworks is going to struggle with ball control but with good
driving they could be among the top scorers here.

The Flaming Chickens always put on a good show and with a ball magnet
and a solid hanger 1540 will be among the best teams competing
here. The finals look like they are in line for the chickens this

368 is an absolute powerhouse when they attend Oregon and they
are planning on continuing their success. Luckily for them they have a
strong bot to lead them on their path to victory. Team Kika Mana has a
wide ball magnet and swerve drive. They will be the best team here and
should go home with a banner.

Traverse City:
With only 38 teams Traverse City should set the stage for how Michigan
events will run along with Kettering. There will be lots of heavy
defense and bots that can hang and on the first day a lot of teams
trying to kick the air.

85 almost went all the way to Einstein last year and they look
to continue their success into 2010. Though no information has been
given by B.O.B as to what their bot is I am confident it will be a
powerfull scoring machine.

141 always puts on a good show for the Traverse City crowd.
They will be a serious contender and wont finish anywhere short of the
semi finals.

1918 has another great looking robot. After almost going to
Einstein with B.O.B. the NC Gears have put together another solid
scoring machine. Their new bot travels over the bump with ease and
with their wide ball magnet they can’t miss picking up a ball if they
tried. With a variable strength kicker there is little that will be
able to stop the NC Gears this weekend.

As opposed to Traverse City, Kettering has a very top heavy set of
teams. Teams like 1, 70 and 494, 703, 910
will make the eliminations exciting and maybe allow for a low seeded
alliance to win the whole thing by managing to pull together 3 solid
scoring machines.

27 is coming off of a season where they were not selected at
the Michigan State Championships and they do not want a repeat
performance. This is a Rush game and I expect them to do well this
weekend, no less than the semis.

245 is back, after a great year in 09, with a mecanum driving
robot that can hang. The Adambots will struggle unless they have good
control over the ball.

33 had a similar year to Rush and just could not find their
groove. The Killer Bees will come back and be a great force at

67 is coming off of a national title and is ready to defend
their title starting week 1. When HOT takes the field tomorrow heads
will turn and scores will be high. The HOT team should be on the
number 1 alliance and take it all the way.

New Jersey:
The deepest regional of week 1 is without a doubt New Jersey. The
regional should be extremely entertaining all weekend especially since
it is the only regional running on Sunday. There are more than enough
scoring machines for each alliance to have two scorers and some to
have three. Because of this eliminations will be much more competitive
and even if the best two teams get together the regional will still be
up for grabs.

1279 became another one of the big players in the nation last
year with a very smart and powerful bot. Just when you thought that
they couldn’t do better Cold Fusion steps forward with a robot that
uses a vacuum to hold onto the balls very well and an extremely
powerful kicker that in combination makes them very difficult to
defend. Their inability to hang may hurt their stock but they should
have one of the highest qualification scores out there.

2753 is returning from the best rookie season anyone has ever
had and is looking to win New Jersey again, but it’s going to be
tougher this year with the depth of the regional. Overdrive has a self
righting arm that they use to hang, along with a ball magnet and a
kicker. they should be one of the top scorers this weekend and will go
late Sunday, how late depends on who ends up where in the morning.

2016 has an identical arm to Team Overdrive and a good ball
magnet with a powerful kicker. They like Overdrive will be among the
top scorers this weekend and like Overdrive will go late Sunday. The
two teams might even hook up during alliance selections.

25 ended their streak of victories at New Jersey last year and
with The Cybersonics not attending this year 25 will have to
start up a new era with another team. 25 will have a great
scorer with excellent autonomous and camera tracking which is what
could separate them from the pack.

56 stepped back into their form last year and began their pace
back towards the team that made Einstein in 05. Robbe has an
excellent ball magnet that holds onto balls during turns and at high
speed. They have a hanging mechanism that could be faster but it will
still be among the best at New Jersey and a strong kicker to boot. I
get the feeling that 56 and 1279 will team up and take
this regional.

Also going and making things complicated in the elimination rounds are
102, 11, 1923, 2590, 816,
237, 834, 1155, 2344 and 1807

My apologizes on the timing of the predictions, but in future weeks
they will be released on Wednesday evening.

Glad to see someone, taking over this job. Great predictions, and I’m curious to know if you ask around for some information on the robots.

Our robot hangs.

It does that a lot better than it can “kick from anywhere on the field” actually…

At Finger Lakes:
Always keep an eye out for team 1126, SparX. They have made the playoffs every year they’ve been in FIRST, and rarely do they make an early exit.

229 could potentially recreate Division By Chicken this year, and they have a solid looking robot.

Team 610 showed what their robot could do in the video they posted here, and have looked impressive so far.

340, GRR, seems to have learned from their 2004 robot with the design they chose this year. If everything functions, they may find their team returning to the deep playoffs.

1511 has improved consistently in the past few years, and though they haven’t had much time to practice with the robot yet, they have a smart, experienced drive team and will make the playoffs again.

A sleeper team here is 174, who has won the last two regionals, as a fill-in for 191 in 2008, and as the final pick of the 188-1507 alliance in 2009. I haven’t seen much of their robot in action, but I know it has little trouble climbing the bumps, and a speedy scoring robot may be just what the best alliance is looking for come Saturday.

Also, I’d keep an eye out for the rookie teams from McQuaid and Pittsford. I have a feeling they’ll have no trouble adjusting to the competition.

I completely see this is a double standard, but I don’t really see it’s appropriate for people to set up anonymous copycat accounts for this kind of thing. Looking Forward was a carefully orchestrated exception with planning and tipsters and whatnot. Something like a complete LF post isn’t the kind of thing I’d enjoy written on a whim.

What made LF seem cool was that the analysis went so in depth more than “Here is a list of the notable teams at this regional! they have x and y on their robot. i’m guessing they’ll end up here”. It was succinct yet insightful. For example, your post on 25 took the only thing they’ve made public about their robot and said it would give them an edge. That’s not why you’re listing 25, since they use the KoP camera. You’re listing them because of their history… But rather than mention that, you don’t break format and take the safe bets.

I’d break down where I disagree with you in the interest of healthy discussion, but you can just read my NJ and KC comments if you want that.

edit: Okay, I’ll bite… here’s some stuff I noticed on the second read through.

48 always has a powerful offensive bot and in an old school game like this I expect them to have one of the best robots on this field.

With all due respect to 48, they haven’t really been offensive specialists from what I’ve seen (and there’s nothing wrong with that! defense wins championships, especially this year). They’re very effective with their healthy doses of defense mixed in with occasional offense or other methods of alliance assistance. A ramp bot in 2007 is one example.

more’s coming i like editing too much.

In response to the Kettering predictions, 245 did not have mechanums as of last Saturday when we practiced with them. Just would like to clear that up if anyone was wondering.

Dear (New) Looking Forward,

I know many of us here at the CD forums enjoyed Looking Forward’s predictions and were sorry to see this young tradition halted this season. However, I suggest that you solicit the assistance of any connections that you may have in FIRST in order to add some substance to your predictions. One of the best things about the first Looking Forward was the insights and fair analysis he/she gave. In order to live up to the quality of your predecessor, you need to tell us some things that we don’t already know. To be quite honest, I could have written the exact same predictions for the MI districts myself just by browsing the forums and having some knowledge of historical powerhouses. Telling us the teams like 27 and 67 will do well, without anybody knowing what their robots do, is not much of a prediction at all.

I am writing this because I see potential in your efforts, and I also want to see the return or reincarnation of LF. However, in order to capture that same spirit and quality, you need to improve upon this first effort. Bring in some connected FIRSTers, clean up the writing a bit, and match the quality analysis LF brought. Then, you really can be the Looking Forward.

On behalf of Looking Forward fans,

I will help you.

//Start rant
I was always disgusted by the people who “leaked” our robot information last year anyway. We weren’t even anything special. If we wanted to make things public, we would post it or tell people who requested. The double standard was also kind of stupid, forgive the bluntness.
//End rant

Anyway, 25 has a mechanism to suck balls and it seems to work fairly well. We have a kicker that looks like a human foot and we have it calibrated to kick most length of the field. Our autonomous is nice indeed, when it works. We do not use any camera because I did not see it being a reliable way to track the goal. I do not understand why GDC deviated from something that work = a nice big GREEN LIGHT. :eek: We’ll find out if we can really hang tomorrow. That’s all you get to know.

Maybe we will separate us from the bunch but I am excited to see many other competitive robots such as 56, 237, 1923 and 2753. They always have good ideas and obviously 2753 proved themselves to be one of the best rookie teams in FIRST as far as competition goes.

Please visit us in the pits and help us come up with a name for our robot. :smiley:

The (new) LF stated he cannot replace exactly what the old LF did in his predictions. But you’ve got to start somewhere, right? I mean, nobody knew this person was writing a prediction thread this year. So what else is there to go on other than what has been posted on the forums?

If nothing else, it was a succinct summary of who to look out for at each regional based on what they have shown/done in the past. And the quality of posts will only improve as people do begin to leave tips…

Keep at it new LF, and thanks for the tips/kind remarks. :cool:

One thing I’d like to point out is there will be higher scoring games than you think. I believe the quals will be higher scoring than elimination, as defense isn’t necessarily the best offense at that point. In trying to get higher seeding scores, teams won’t be better off winning by defense as they will be winning with offense. Don’t get me wrong, defense will be played. By early saturday, though teams may figure it out – they have shown what they can do and w hy they should be picked (those with defense) and then start going for higher scoring games. If it hasn’t started by Saturday, see week 2 regionals for the scoring quals to start big, but eliminations will have much lower scores overall this year.

highest score this week: 14. It will happen late Friday at one of the regionals. One team will see they’re down by a lot and don’t know how they will come back, realize this and not play defense looking for a higher ranking score. It will be one of this years qualification strategies – when there’s blowouts the gap will widen.

Well, it’s a start anyway. Thanks for taking the time. You DO neeed to work on accuracy and actual information outside what anyone can get off the boards… the old looking forward had some very inside contacts that allowed him to get some serious information on the team outside just what they’ve done in previous years.

I’d be a little more tentative when declaring any regional the “deepest”. Declaring the New Jersey the deepest when putting it up against regionals with multiple world champions, multiple repeat einstein finalists, etc. might warrant a bit of reconsideration.

As Rizner pointed out - folks that have spent some serious time looking at this game I think have come to realize that playing defense during the qualification rounds hurts both you AND your competitor. Worst case, if you know you don’t have a chance on earth to win, you should be helping your competitor score to maximize YOUR score. I expect to see a couple double digit score within the first day at Kettering.

I’m not entirely sold on defense this season. Unless I’m blatantly missing something, it seems win/loss ratio does nothing directly in determining seeding/ranks, as it has in the past.

Reading through the other sections on seeding points (9.3.4 and 9.3.5), the rankings appear to be directly determined by cumulative match scores, rather than win/loss based Qualifying Points of previous years.

Let’s say Redateam plays 10 matches, with solid defense, but not much scoring. Their defense is so good, they win every of their 10 matches by a margin of 2-0. Each match nets them a total of 2 seeding points, with no coopertition bonus, as they shut out each of their opposing alliances. After their 10 undefeated matches, Redateam has 20 total seeding points.

Now Bluateam plays 10 matches, has an excellent kicker, elevates, scores as many points as possible in each match, knowing they can outscore the opposing alliance in each. They convince their alliance partners to not play any defense, so all 3 of their robots are potentially scoring. They win only 5 of their 10 matches, but with an average margin of 5-3. This would mean for each win, Redateam gets 5+(3x2 coopertition bonus) = 11 seeding points. 11 points per winning match x 5 matches won = 55 seeding points, just from their 5 wins. The 4 matches they lost were to Redateam’s alliance, where Redateam won 2-0. Bluateam gets the same 2 seeding points Redateam gets, as per section 9.3.4. 4 losing matches x 2 seeding points each = 8 points. After 10 matches, winning only half of them, Bluateam has 63 seeding points, to Redateam’s undefeated 20. Bluateam is at a much higher ranking than Redateam, even with a 50% loss ratio.

Getting into the top 8 will be a whole new exercise in strategy, offensive power, and control this season. Any overly dominant team will be carefully scoring for the opposing alliance if they really want to push for #1 seed. With that in mind, I disagree with notion that scores will be low. If teams really understand how this seeding system works, any of the “WOW” robots will be able to push double digit scores if they really wanted to, especially if the stars align and 2 or more solid shooters end up on the same alliance.

Of course, once the elimination matches start, it becomes a whole different ballgame, where defense will play a much larger role. Maybe at that point it would be in Bluateam’s best interest to chose Redateam for an alliance partner. Who knows? Will 3 strong offensive robots beat out 2 offensive/1 defensive alliances? Only time will tell, but I’d expect a good show in the midfield fighting for the ball returns either way.

I agree with you, this LF could be from the mid-Atlantic. But I just want to point out that I don’t recognize many of the teams you named from Kettering, and I am from NJ. You recognize these teams, but you are from Mich. Every regional has its storied teams. I wouldn’t say LF was biased based on his/her opinion though. I think the ‘deepest’ comment came from the amount of quality teams in combination with the large number of teams coming to the event… many of which are veterans (like Kettering).

Nah, Tom is right, NJ and kettering just don’t compare here.

Might also be an early match at GSR. 20, 40, and 78 are teamed up. But you
never know.

Didn"t 217/148 pull their hanging arms off?

It does in MI in terms of getting to the State Championship…

OH…and I agree…change your name from LookingForward to something else… Sorry…

40 had a weak showing at Suffield and if they want to get as
far as they did last year they are going to have to up their game.

Yes, excellent our plan is working excellently. :stuck_out_tongue:

I guess the impostor isn’t as prescient as people would think?